FEDERICA ANGELI, 40 SECONDS. THE STORY OF WILLY MONTEIRO DUARTE (BALDINI + CASTOLDI, PP. 224, 18 EURO)
“I tried to soften the hardness of a news report, to round the tips. This book is meant to be a caress for Willy, on tiptoe, also in respect of his family who showed great humanity”. Federica Angeli speaks with her heart, as she tells ANSA the reasons that led her to write “40 seconds” (Baldini * Castoldi, from 30 August), her seventh book, in which she retraces the tragic story of Willy Monteiro Duarte , the boy who was beaten to death in Colleferro, near Rome, on the night between 5 and 6 September 2020, just for trying to defend a friend.
Two years after a murder as brutal as it is senseless, the author wanted to tell the story of Willy in dense pages, mixing the investigation with the novel, that is, reporting not only all the facts and judicial documents, but also reconstructing what he has preceded the crime, focusing on that “normality” destroyed in just 40 seconds. In fact, the passage between Willy’s life and death lasted so long that at the age of 21 “he died from a mistake in person, situation, non-place, gaze, proximity. There is no reason, not even those who have it. killed knows why, and it’s much less than a futile reason.
It is no reason. More: it is the emblem of the non-motive. During the trial, the defendants will explain what prompted them to dress up as fighters and beat them as hard as they can, but they will never say, even if urged by the judge and prosecutors, why Willy “, writes Angeli, who searched for this work to give answers if not procedural at least ethical and social.
“Willy’s story struck me more than others, starting with the photograph, which I looked for while I was going from Rome to Colleferro, a few hours after the murder”, says the author, “this boy’s smile is entered the heart “. “I have always taught my children not to turn away if someone is in trouble. Willy did exactly this, and he paid with his life”, continues Angeli, who met and talked to all of the boy’s friends. , “posing as a mother. In them I found a respect, a desire to remember their friend whom I hadn’t seen for a long time”.
In the book there is a strong criticism of how the case was handled by the media. “I followed the story only in the first week, I know that it is different to look at things from the outside than when you are in it for work. However, there have been mistakes, which I probably also made in the past, namely that of riding what the public wants “, he explains,” the crime has an advantage, that of objectivity, but here it is waned to chase the monster to hit the front page. The Bianchi brothers and the other two boys on trial have never dated, they weren’t a gang, they were just all from Artena, a small town where it is normal for everyone to know each other. There was talk of a gang, satanic rituals and prostitution in Colleferro. there was a need to rage, the perpetrators condemned themselves “.
The book comes after the experience as a delegate on the outskirts of Rome during the last months of the Rays administration: would you do it again? “I don’t know if I would do it again, because then I get excited and in any case I have seen that even if slowly something can be changed. It was certainly a strong experience, which also taught me how to do the job of a journalist better. . I understood how little political in-depth there is, and humanly how difficult it is to change things from the inside. The real mayor of Rome is the bureaucratic machine “.
In his story as a reporter he had to fight difficult battles: how do you overcome fear? “with irony and lightness, but it’s hard. Fear is the other side of the coin of courage, it’s up to us to choose. I have an accomplice family, my children help me to understand and exorcise fears”, he says, “when I have when we had the screams, the bullets and the gasoline on the doorstep, we pretended it was a point game. “
What do you expect from the next elections? “I notice that no one talks about the fight against the Mafia, yet only if this mechanism is reversed can we return to a fair country. Let’s see, I just hope that whoever wins takes it into his head to really change things”.